World Cyberattack: Thanks to the FBI, Colonial Pipeline recovers part of the ransom to the Hackers

14:35  08 june  2021
14:35  08 june  2021 Source:   20minutes.fr

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Cyberattaque : grâce au FBI, Colonial Pipeline récupère une partie de la rançon versée aux hackeurs © Mikhail Nilov / Pexels Cyberattack: Thanks to the FBI, Colonial Pipeline recovers part of the ransom paid to the Hackers heavily attacked by hackers computer. The American Colonial Pipeline Group had to pay a ransom in Cryptomonnaie, for an estimated $ 4.4 million, in order to resume the distribution of gasoline. The group was able to recover half of the amount paid through the intervention of the authorities.

This is a great success for the FBI. The US authorities announced Monday to have recovered $ 2.3 million in ransoms paid to computer hackers by the Colonial Pipeline group after a cyber attack that paralyzed its huge oil pipeline network. "The Ministry of Justice has located and recovered the majority of the ransom that colonial paid to Darkside last month," said Assistant Minister Lisa Monaco at a press conference, with reference to the criminal network accused of being at the origin of this extortion operation.

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On May 7, these hackers who, according to the American authorities, are based in Russia, have exploited a fault in the safety of the networks of the colonial group, which transports 45% of the fuels consumed on the east coast of the United States. They used a rankong, or "ransomware", a program that encrypts computer systems and requires ransom to unlock them. Colonial had been forced to suspend his operations along his 8,800 kilometers of pipelines, running from Texas around New York.

The attack had resulted in a panic movement and a pump rush, accompanied by localized fuel shortages and emphasized the vulnerability of US infrastructure to this type of attack. To resume as soon as possible the distribution of essence, the boss of Colonial Pipeline, Joseph Blount, had authorized the payment of a ransom in cryptomonnaie, or 75 Bitcoins, for an estimated $ 4.4 million.

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He explained in a statement to have "quickly and discreetly" warned the federal police who was able to follow financial transfers consecutive. Armed with a mandate signed by a California judge, the investigators were able to seize Monday 63.7 of these Bitcoins. They had been transferred to a specific address whose FBI had the "private key", the equivalent of a password, explained the Ministry of Justice in a statement. The course of the virtual currency has dropped recently, so that the recovered amount is only $ 2.3 million. This transaction, however, is a success for the US authorities because it is very rare that the ransoms paid by companies are recovered.

In his communiqué, the boss of Colonial Pipeline rented the "fast and professional work" of the FBI. "Continue cybercriminals and disrupting the ecosystem that allows them to operate is the best way to defend us against future attacks," said Mr. Blount. Lisa Monaco hoped that the example of Colonial Pipeline encourages the victims of these kinds of attacks to communicate quickly with the authorities. Even if there is no "guarantee", "we may be able to act like today and to deprive criminals of expected profits," she argued.

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  Pipeline chief to face Congress as US recovers ransom payment Colonial Pipeline officials have said they saw the $4.4m ransom payment as necessary to restart halted operations.Colonial Pipeline CEO Joseph Blount will face the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday, one day after the US Department of Justice revealed it had recovered the majority of the $4.4m ransom payment the company made in hopes of getting its system back online. A second hearing is set for Wednesday before the House Homeland Security Committee.

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Hackers The Rancing attacks have multiplied in recent months, targeting both schools, hospitals and businesses, to whom millions of dollars have been drawn . According to industry experts, they are often orchestrated by actors located in Russia or in the former Soviet republics. Faced with their upsurge, the US authorities have muscular their fighting device.

President Joe Biden has issued a decree in particular to force companies to communicate in case of computer flaws. He also planned to approach the subject with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during their meeting on June 16 in Geneva. The Ministry of Justice has on its side put in place a specialized cell to combat the acts of hackers, whose seizure announced Monday was the first shine. He also ordered the country's prosecutors to immediately go back to any information on this type of attack on this cell, on the model of what exists to combat terrorist attacks.

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